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Sealless Centrifugal
By Tom Marcone, Iwaki America

Sealless pumps have an advantage over AODD pumps in clean chemical applications.

W Air Consumption
hile air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD)
pumps are widely accepted and used in many AODD pumps consume air, not electricity. he cost to gener-
applications, their use on clean chemical transfer ate and maintain air is increasing. Plant air is not free, and air
can be argued as inecient. he word clean is emphasized in compressors are expensive. hey need to be maintained and can
this article. AODD pumps are monsters at pumping liquids easily be maximized by other processes in the plant. Air com-
that include viscous and dirty uids. Clean chemical is dened pressors are also inecient. Added to this ineciency is the fact
as having particles under 50 microns in size and less than 5 that air lines from the compressor to the pump can leak. he
percent by volume. AODD pump also adds ineciency to the process. Combine
Most chemicals delivered by rail, truck or tote t into this these factors, and the AODD pump can be one of the most
category. Many facilities that use AODD pumps on dirty or expensive pumps to operate in a plant. Compared to an electri-
viscous processes will also use this technology on clean pro- cally powered pump, an AODD pump can cost as much as 75
cesses. he availability and familiarity of AODD pumps make percent more to operate on similar services.
them an easy choice for almost any application. Unfortunately,
what is sometimes overlooked is the cost associated with run- Pump Noise & Stall
ning an AODD pump in an application in which a sealless Another factor to consider with an AODD pump is noise.
centrifugal pump could be used. AODD pumps have three det- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
rimentsmaintenance, pulsation and air consumption. continues to tighten noise limits in manufacturing areas. he
exhaust decibel levels of AODD pumps can sometimes exceed
Maintenance these levels.
AODD pumps require preventive maintenance on their dia- Another consideration is AODD pumps stalling tendency.
phragms and other wear parts. he wear items need to be While manufacturers continue to address these issues in their
replaced before a stated number of strokes occur. To replace the valve designs, they cannot control the quality of air supplied,
wear parts, the pump must be removed from the system. his
may lead to downtime if a spare pump is not on hand, although
having a spare pump on hand is an added cost.
Once the pump is removed, a cost is associated with the
replacement parts and the labor to rebuild the unit. Once
rebuilt, the pump will require additional labor to be reinstalled.
Pump rebuilding is not a one-time process. It must be rebuilt
every time it approaches the dened maximum stroke limit.

AODD pumps are positive displacement pumps. Because of
this, pulsation occurs when the diaphragm reciprocates. his
pulsation causes pipe stress and vibration that must be moni-
tored. Although pulsation dampeners can be installed to help
alleviate the surges, this adds an expense.
Self priming sealless pump


Chemical Pump Applications

humidity in the operating area and temperature changes, which $0.12 per kilowatt hour (kWh), the AODD pump will cost
can cause the pumps to stall, increasing downtime. approximately $1,000 annually. he centrifugal pump will do
the same service for approximately $150. If you multiply this
Sealless Technology $850 dierence by a population of AODD pumps, the savings
Enter sealless technology. Magnetically driven pumps have are substantial.
been around for more than 50 years. As magnet technology In the unfortunate instance of a pump failure, the sealless
has improved, the cost to manufacture magnetic drive pumps design of magnetic drive pumps is more likely to contain uid
has decreased. Developments in radial bearing materials have in the pump end as opposed to a ruptured diaphragm. A seal-
addressed the problem of dry running in mag drive pumps. less pump will also give a warning sign of failure (diminished or
Many manufacturers oer chemical pumps at low costs that no ow), whereas an AODD pump gives little to no warning.
can withstand dry run conditions and will provide years of ser- While sealless centrifugal pumps are not an across-the-
vice without costly preventive maintenance. Sealless centrifugal board replacement for AODD pumps, they do serve a pur-
pumps also have much lower decibel ratings and no mecha- pose in clean chemical applications. Sealless centrifugal pumps
nisms to stall. are available in ooded suction and self-priming designs. As
Magnetic drive pumps are available in metal, plastic and always, work with a pump professional on any retrot or design
Teon. Depending on the uid, temperature and service condi- project.
tions, the end user has many options and price points to choose P&S
from. Standard electrical motors mount to most designs, pro-
viding an unlimited selection of voltages, speeds and enclosures. Tom Marcone is the national sales and
Higher prices are typically associated with magnetic drive marketing manager for Iwaki America.
pumps initial purchase. Some end users may have sticker He has more than 20 years experience in
shock when they see a magnetic drive option, which can be up chemical transfer and metering pump tech-
to 50 percent higher than an AODD pump. Most of this cost nologies. He can be reached at tmarcone@
delta is associated with the rare earth magnets that power the or 508-474-2062.
mag drive pump.
As an example, assume an AODD
pump costs $1,000 and an equivalent
performance magnetic drive pump
costs $1,300. he end user should con-
sider the life-cycle cost of the pump as
opposed to just the initial purchase price.
he AODD pump will require a rebuild
after a limited number of strokes. If this TOUGH STUFF
rebuild occurs once per year and the cost
of the rebuild kit is $300, then after one

year, the life-cycle cost of the AODD
pump is $1,300 and $1,600 after two
NEW! Husky 3300

3 Diaphragm Pumps
years. he life-cycle cost does not take
into account the labor and downtime
associated with the rebuilds.
An AODD pump moving 35 gal-
lons per minute (gpm) at 10 psi will
need approximately 70 cubic feet per
minute (CFM) to power the pump.
hirty-ve gpm at 25 feet of total
dynamic head (TDH) can be moved
by a centrifugal pump with an approxi-
mately 1-horsepower motor. heoretical
power to produce the pressure and
volume of air is more than double the
horsepower (2.5 horsepower) needed to
run a mag drive pump. Assuming the
pump runs 30 hours per week (six hours
each day, ve days per week) at a cost of
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